Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Environmental Impact of Immigrants to the U.S.: An Empirical Study of Air Quality

Presenter Information

Guizhen MaFollow

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2018

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology, Social Work & Anthropology Department

Faculty Mentor

Erin Trouth Hofmann

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Environmental consequences are frequently cited as a justification for restricting immigration to the United States, but there is little empirical research on the environmental consequences of immigration to support such arguments. The research that does exist casts doubt on the assumed negative association between immigration and environmental quality, but is hampered by small sample sizes and the use of varying measures of pollution. We use the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index, available for more than 1000 U.S. counties, to examine the association between immigrant and native populations and local air quality through spatial analysis. We find that larger populations are strongly associated with worse air quality, but the association is driven entirely by the native population. These findings demonstrate the limitation of immigration control as an effective environmental protection measure, and highlight the importance of population characteristics in understanding population-environment linkages.

Location

South Atrium

Start Date

4-13-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 4:15 PM

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Apr 13th, 3:00 PM Apr 13th, 4:15 PM

Environmental Impact of Immigrants to the U.S.: An Empirical Study of Air Quality

South Atrium

Environmental consequences are frequently cited as a justification for restricting immigration to the United States, but there is little empirical research on the environmental consequences of immigration to support such arguments. The research that does exist casts doubt on the assumed negative association between immigration and environmental quality, but is hampered by small sample sizes and the use of varying measures of pollution. We use the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index, available for more than 1000 U.S. counties, to examine the association between immigrant and native populations and local air quality through spatial analysis. We find that larger populations are strongly associated with worse air quality, but the association is driven entirely by the native population. These findings demonstrate the limitation of immigration control as an effective environmental protection measure, and highlight the importance of population characteristics in understanding population-environment linkages.